Parents' Guide to

Stranger Things: Puzzle Tales

By Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Fun match-3 game packed with references to TV series.

Stranger Things: Puzzle Tales Poster Image

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What you will—and won't—find in this app.

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The app has a slight matching game twist and is clearly inspired by the show, but it's a lot of fun. Many of the standard match-3 puzzle features are included in Stranger Things: Puzzle Tales, like matching more than three like-colored shaped for stronger attacks. Certain color combinations also are reportedly more advantageous than others, although the ranking system can be a little confusing, since it seems that green matches have the most impact. Another instruction suggests that aiming for the color each opponent is shown with works best, although other color matches seem to have an equally detrimental effect. Players can use special powers the show's characters have by tapping on their card at the bottom of the screen when it becomes available -- prompting Eleven to deliver a psychic blow to the monsters they're fighting, for example.

The storyline isn't important, and merely sets up the next location kids will try to make their way through. Players will fight creatures they come across -- ranging from demon-like dogs to cheese puffs that have come alive. They can customize their team by choosing characters to be in battles, and they earn a lot of currency as they play that can be used to level characters up. They'll also pick up items that can help them, such as a slice of pizza that will heal team members. Opponents can strike when their attack counter reaches zero, and players can't do much to protect themselves -- they basically just have to absorb the impact before resuming fighting, which can make the gameplay feel a bit slow. The game features some neat nods to the show, such as a different version of battles that appears after kids have completed a series of them, modeled after the Upside Down, an alternate dimension that echoes the real world in the series. Fans will likely enjoy seeing major and minor characters move through familiar settings like a Hawkins, Indiana lab and arcade. But Stranger Things: Puzzle Tales can provide plenty of matching game fun -- mixed with a little intrigue -- even if players have never seen the show.

App Details

  • Devices: iPhone , iPod Touch , iPad , Android
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Release date: November 1, 2021
  • Category: Puzzle Games
  • Publisher: Next Games
  • Version: 13.1.1
  • Minimum software requirements: Requires IOS 10.0 or later or Android 7.0 and up.
  • Last updated: December 12, 2021

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